Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

D.S.W. Social work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Alex Redcay

Second Advisor

Dr. Ed Hanna

Third Advisor

Dr. Sharon Lyter


Technostress is the inability to cope with information and communication technology which may result in stress and burnout. Email overload, stress, and burnout among social workers is a phenomenon that may impact retention in social and human service organizations. This mixed methods design uses the transactional theory of stress as the theoretical framework for measuring the relationship of email overload (email invasion, email volume, and email rapid response extraction) to stress and burnout in the social work workforce. This dissertation also explores the generational cohort, gender, and social work degree as predictors of email overload. Participants in this study were social workers recruited through one of three membership organizations: Juvenile Detentions Centers and Alternative Programs (JDCAP), National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS), and the Pennsylvania Council for Children, Youth, and Family Services (PCCYFS). Students enrolled at Kutztown University were also included in this study. There were 119 (N=119) participants that completed the email overload survey and six (N=6) participants that were interviewed. The findings of the study show that email overload was statistically significant and GenXers and Millennials reported higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and poor coping that that of the Boomer generational cohort. Further studies on email overload and technology overload may provide a basis for needed technology self-care strategies for social workers.



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